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Monday, June 24, 2024

Leola Mae Gadsden

Leola Mae Gadsden
Leola Mae Gadsden

Leola Mae Gadsden was born on December 28, 1947 in Ocala.

Florida to the late Benjamin Franklin Gadsden, Sr. and Esther Mae Brady. Leola was blessed with two sets of parents. She was raised from the age of 10 years old by Charles Sampson and Annie I Douglas Sampson, who she affectionally called Poppa Charles and Momma Annie.

She received her high school education at Howard High School, Class of 1964 in Ocala, FL. She attended Gibbs Junior College, and the University of South Florida (USF), where she earned her BA. degree. Leola was an education for the Pinellas City School Board.

She retired after 34 years of teaching elementary school students.

“Lola”, as she was so affectionally called; enjoyed traveling, reading, and bowling. She was an active member of the National Bowling Association for well over 50 years. She loved participating in competitions and traveling the world with her bowling partners.

Our beloved Lola was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2020, she never allowed it to stop her from traveling, and spending time with her family. Lola was cared for by her sister Geraldine, whom she affectionally called “Geri” relocated to St. Petersburg, and Geri remained with her until her demise.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin Franklin Gadsden, Sr, Esther Mae Brady and Charles & Annie Sampson. Her siblings Nathaniel Lewis, Sr., Darlene Lewis, Willie Lewis, Sr., and, Benjamin Franklin Gadson Jr.

She leaves to cherish her memories a son/nephew Christopher S. Gadsden, godson Clayton White, her favorite nephew John “Jay” Gadson, Jr. all of St. Petersburg, FL; her beloved siblings Teretha McKinney, Betty Gadson Isaac, Ethel (Isaac) Burgess, Geraldine Gadson, and Annette Follins all of Ocala, FL, and John (Marie) Gadson Sr. of St. Petersburg, FL, special friends, Audrey Godwin of St. Petersburg, FL, and Carolyn Butler of Lauderhill, FL, and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins whom she loved dearly.